Minoa FD hopes to showcase refurbished antique fire truck in Minoa Field Days parade
The Minoa Fire Department's classic fire truck is set to make a grand appearance during this year's Minoa Field Days. The 1953 Mack Model 85 was the first green fire truck to come to Minoa, setting the precedence for a full fleet of green fire apparatus for which the village is known. It was purchased by the department with the help of then firefighter Russell H. Schepp, whose son Tom and grandson Erich are still members of the community.
The truck is currently being refurbished with a new electrical system, fresh paint and new gold leaf. The restoration, which costs approximately $20,000, is being paid for by the Minoa Fire Department and the Schepp family.
"If it's done in time, it will be in the parade," said former fire chief David Van Marter.
The original green model has been in continuous service since its arrival in the 1950s, and is often driven in funeral processions of former Minoa firefighters.
Russell Schepp, a 65-year member of the Minoa Fire Department, also served as village mayor for many years. His son describes him as a man who was strong-willed but had a lot of common sense. His years of service speak volumes.
"It was part of how you lived," Tom Schepp said. "You did what you had to do. It was truly an interdependent community."
Schepp's son remembers how his father noticed that the railroad was re-doing the roads while driving a school bus route. He secured the rubble for the construction of Lewis Park, saving local tax payers the price of fill. This was typical of his innovative nature.
"He saw a need," Schepp said. "That was the tradition of the old timers back then. You saw a need, you do it. That's the essence of Russ -- how can we find a way to do this?"